October 6, 2020

Calendar highlights and upcoming events:
Nutrien, Local 15 (Nutrien) bargaining

A tentative settlement has been reached. A bargaining report, video conference information meetings and mail-in-ballot ratification vote are being arranged.

GSU collective agreements with Nutrien expired Dec. 31, 2019. Your GSU Local 15 bargaining committee members are Brian Cowen, Curtis Cousins, Lynn Shaw, GSU staff rep Steve Torgerson, and GSU staff rep/bargaining spokesperson Dale Markling.

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Semi-annual GSU Joint Executive Council meeting - Oct. 8

The union's governing body will tend to union business during a socially-distanced meeting in Regina. On-line attendance will also be available.

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GSU Local 6, Wild West Steelhead bargaining - Oct. 20

When the parties last met there was significant distance between the two sides with the company wanting a number of concessions and the members wanting improvements to language, benefits and wages. 

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Autumn 2020 membership meetings

In addition to usual union business, we've also got some constitutional amendments for your consideration and we need you to vote on whether you want to continue paying dues into the GSU Defense Fund.

The way we hold membership meetings will be different this autumn, and we're busy figuring out exactly how to take care of business while keeping everyone safe during Covid. If you have thoughts or suggestions on what type of meeting would work well for you, contact your GSU staff rep.

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(L-r) GSU bargaining committee members Lynn Shaw, Dale Markling (spokesperson), Steve Torgerson, Brian Cowan, and Curtis Cousins.
Bargaining session results in tentative settlement for Local 15 (Nutrien)

GSU’s Local 15 bargaining committee has reached a tentative settlement with Nutrien Ag Solutions (Canada) Inc. The two sides met in Regina on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, resulting in a memorandum of settlement. 

Both parties are recommending ratification of the settlement.

A copy of the memorandum of settlement has been shared with GSU Local 15 members, and a full bargaining report, video conference meetings, and a mail-in ballot are being arranged. Details of the settlement will not be shared outside the Local until a ratification vote has been held later this month. 

“On behalf of our bargaining committee, I want to thank Local 15 members for their support and patience through this process. It has been a long haul through bargaining to reach a tentative settlement. The members’ rejection of the initial company offer and our committee's resolve to stand fast for guarantees sent a message that the company heard,” said Local 15 president Brian Cowan. “Our bargaining committee feels this contract will provide stability to Local 15 members for the long term, and provide a framework for future contracts.”

Oops! A delayed shout out and thank you to Local 2 (Regina Head Office) executive member Kaylee Kruger

In last week's update on the Local 2 (Viterra Head Office) A Night with STARS contest we thanked executive members Sheila Tran and Howard Wilson for putting together a great contest for their members. Unfortunately, we missed acknowledging the work of Sheila and Howard's fellow executive member Kaylee Kruger.

Sorry for the omission, Kaylee. Thank you for everything you do to keep Local 2 running smoothly.

A member's position was reviewed and upgraded to reflect the greater level of responsibility that had become part of the job.

When general secretary Hugh Wagner inquired whether the upgrade would result in a raise for the affected member, the employer initially replied that since the employee’s current rate of pay was above the minimum salary of the new and higher grade, there would be no pay increase.
Wagner advised the employer that recognition of the greater responsibility of the employee should translate into a pay increase, and that to not do so contradicted the so-called pay for performance system. After a brief period of reconsideration, the employer advised GSU that the employee in question would receive a pay increase to coincide with the assignment of a higher salary grade to the position.

If you need assistance or clarification on your rights, don't hesitate to contact your GSU staff rep.

Need assistance? Just want advice? GSU can help. If you have questions about a problem or workplace issue, call us. Our services are provided to you as part of your union dues and there is no additional charge for assisting you.

Dandelion exhibit reminds us we are resilient
The Works International Visual Arts Society has a project in Edmonton that is catching attention of passersby as little handmade dandelions are popping up in unusual locations throughout the city.

One purpose of the exhibit is to remind people that like the dandelion, they too can be persistent and resilient, and pop up to thrive in places that are hard for them to be. That message is particularly important in 2020 when we have been pushed into uncertain times and unusual situations.

So when you are struggling, remember the resilient, persistent dandelion. If a little yellow flower can break through the cracks and thrive, so can you.

The exhibit runs in Edmonton before moving on to another location. Learn more about the exhibit here:

This article has been printed for entertainment purposes. The views and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of GSU, its members, officers, or staff.